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The US government has joined a cardiologist in a whistleblower lawsuit against Hamot Medical Center in western Pennsylvania and a group of cardiologists with whom he once practiced, Ed Palattella reports in the Erie Times-News.

Cardiologist Tullio Emanuele, who now practices in Kentucky, has accused five former colleagues, members of Medicor Associates Inc. and its affiliate, Flagship Cardiac, Vascular and Thoracic Surgery of Erie, of billing Medicare for unnecessary angioplasty and other procedures. Hamot Medical Center is now affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

The lawsuit, according to the Times-News, alleges that the contracts the cardiologists had with Hamot Medical Center were “sham arrangements intended to disguise the actual purpose of Hamot to pay kickbacks to Medicor and Flagship CVTS in exchange for patient referrals.”